Operation NT-D: Episode 1

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Been a long time since I’ve come back to this – yes, this project is still going on. Anime Expo is less than a week away and we haven’t even finished building yet, let alone making final touches. Of course, our progress is impeded this year by…well, me not actually being around to help my partner build. Life’s been a bitch lately, so I’ve hardly done anything for our cause. My poor comrade has built a lot of the armor already on his own.

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Calling this Episode 1 when Anime Expo is literally a few days away may be inappropriate – this session that I’m posting about now is from a while back, one of the few times I actually worked with my comrade on the armor. He has since completed much of it on his own already.

As some may recall, Episode 0 was called such because we really didn’t get anywhere that time – almost all the work we did that day had been scraped and we started everything over, particularly with the torso unit.

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This time around we only managed to get the arms and torso mostly done – we actually split the work so that I was working on the arms while my partner revamped the torso. I should’ve and would’ve worked faster during the day and made more progress had I not had a heavy issue weighing on my mind at the time, I confess I was a bit distracted.

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The torso unit this year seems to be a much tougher beast than anything we faced last year with the RX-78-2. We scrapped the first attempt during Episode 0, and this time my partner almost had it together before he gave up on the stomach measurements and scrapped his second attempt too. By the time I was done for the day he was just starting on his third attempt at the torso unit…

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Some torso measurements I spotted on some actual parts of the torso. From what I understand the crazy slants and whatnot around the gray stomach area were what threw my partner off and made him rage-quit so many times.

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Meanwhile, I had custody and reign over the arm units. They were relatively simple to build, though my partner gave me measurements that were initially too large for his arms. After constructing the biceps I had to shave off a quarter inch or so off every side to avoid making him look like a crazy buff Unicorn that had hit the gym.

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The original arm measurements and schematics that my comrade drew up for me.

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Biceps unfolded. They’re attached temporarily on the inside via duct tape, and as I understand it the actual attachment of the armor to his body will be achieved via elastic bands strapping them to his arms.

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Unlike in Episode 0 when we used pins to temporarily attach boards together for fitting, we just used duct tape this time around to put things together. It’ll all be glued (most likely with hot glue) at the end to make sure everything goes together for sure. Everything will have to be disassembled eventually for painting (the psycoframe) and then glued back together.

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Ended up with a makeshift axe on one of the boards. Reminds me a bit of minecraft.

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Building the forearms. The duct tape will be removed later when final assembly calls for glue. I built it with the cuffs of the wrist first and the open rectangular prisms that insert into them will be the psycoframe parts.

The cuffs are actually slanted, as they are on the actual Unicorn. I could’ve just left them as plain rectangles, but I figured out a way to make it look slanted as it is on the actual mobile suit. Think it turned out pretty well.

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Drawing the armor out unfolded and then cutting it out, shaving down any areas where needed. Funny thing is, I accidentally made the forearms different sizes so I can’t just clone these armor plates and apply them elsewhere.

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Labeled the pieces as to where things will go to make it easier for me to identify placement areas. The open piece on the left is going to be exterior white Unicorn armor that will wrap around the open rectangular prism that is the psycoframe.

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Inner arm armor attached. The outer arm armor is where the complex beam saber storage compartments are. I didn’t have time to make those before I left, but just about everything else on the arms is done.

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Cloning the lower bicep armor pieces.

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Both biceps done, I’m liking the look of the layered armor with those funky triangles. The attachment is still very loose thanks to just duct tape holding it together; should be better when glued.

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Partner going ham on the torso, it’s not as easy as we thought…those pieces right under the vents that have to reach from the cockpit hatch to the ends of the torso are particularly problematic.

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I did mention that my partner rage-quit on the torso during this session…tossed all his sorrows aside and proceeded to start from scratch.

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Pretty sure this is where he had gotten with his third attempt at the torso by the time I left. He’s since shown me how it looks pretty much finalized, and it’s pretty beaut. My only concern is when we take the thing apart to paint and glue it together for final assembly if everything will fit properly.

So all in all we didn’t make leaps and bounds during this session, but somehow this year’s armor is coming along much quicker than last year’s. My partner is done with most of the upper body, sans head and backpack, and just has the legs and feet to go. With any luck we’ll make it in time, though we’re making last year look leisurely with how much we’re crunching right now. Given my conflicts in schedule and timing, I doubt I’ll be of much use in the near future either…

Read on the rest of the build:

Episode 0

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

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